The girls that said maybe to my Couchsurfing request confirmed, so off I go for a walk in sunny Lisboa
While I wander around the center I drop another bag of pasta at the social kitchen, then find the place with the cheapest coffee in Lisbon (0.50€) and samosa in Lisbon in a small bar near a church, Arroios Snack Bar Cafeteria.
I spend some time hanging around and juice up my phone while I use some complimentary WiFi and manage tonight's accommodation
Meeting with my host is at 1900 so I have plenty of time, I decide to walk downtown and reach Casa das Bandeiras, a place that deals with flags and emblems. I explain my trip to the nice lady behind the counter and that I'd like to sew a flag patch on my bag for each country I cross.
She has plenty of the big kind and advises me to go look for smaller ones in the old retrosarias na rua da Conceição , tiny shops selling buttons, patches and threads
I visit each one of them and end up walking around the center, each lady telling me more spots where I can find better ones.
There are so many shops selling emblems because some Portuguese students participate in the hazing rituals of praxe.
The inside of the traditional black cloak that is part of the student outfit is covered with with badges. Never to be washed until you are done with your studies, the cloaks are the most important part of one's possessions and to be teared apart when something spectacular happens; this is akin to what happens in other ancient european university cities, where old rituals and fraternities are part of the daily student lives.
I cross the river and meet Ana and Ana, two amazing girls living in the other coast of the Tejo.
As we go get groceries we decide what could be a traditional Portuguese recipe they can teach me, and end up choosing feijoada (full recipe here).
While food is cooking we have some entradas, small delicious cheeses and a tuna paté that one of the two Ana's prepared for us (mayo, tuna and diced onion, salt/pepper to taste, perfect for that leftover mayo in your fridge).
We eat and share stories, they are going to travel through South America and run charity marathons. I offer the few tricks I learned while organizing my bike tour and I hope they don't get frustrated while they make their dream come true; it's hard to convince people to support you, especially if it's about an amazing adventure while they are stuck in an office.
They have been so nice to find me another place where to stay, which I unfortunately had to decline in order to let luck, psychogeography and nonsense do their course.
Força Ana & Ana! MEGAOBRIGADO!
Over and out,